Handel, Ludus Baroque, Richard Neville-Towle - Song For St Cecilia's Day

Published Thursday 3rd January 2013
Handel, Ludus Baroque, Richard Neville-Towle - Song For St Cecilia's Day
Handel, Ludus Baroque, Richard Neville-Towle - Song For St Cecilia's Day

STYLE: Choral
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 134075-
LABEL: Delphian DCD34110
FORMAT: CD Album
ITEMS: 1

This product is currently not available from Cross Rhythms Direct


Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

Following the critical acclaim of their debut recording, 'Alexander's Feast', Ludus Baroque bring their celebrated verve to George Frideric Handel's "Song For St Cecilia's Day". Coupled with his miniature cantata for tenor, "Look Down, Harmonious Saint", which Handel wrote to supplement performances of 'Alexander's Feast', and with the Concerto Grosso in B flat, written in his fruitful autumn of 1739, Handel approaches the setting of this second text by John Dryden with the same extraordinary vividness of detail and metrical virtuosity as 'Alexander's Feast'. "What passion cannot music raise and quell?" The answer is that it can raise and quell them all but as music had, in the beginning, been the divine principle of cosmic order, so, on the Final Day, it will be the force that dissolves the universe. There are, of course, other recordings of the "Song For St Cecilia's Day" so a reviewer has to think carefully before recommending one over another but it is safe to say that this version is more than adequate. The two soloists, Mary Bevan (soprano) and Ed Lyon (tenor) are both very good indeed and the playing of Edinburgh's Ludus Baroque is spot on and well captured by producer/engineer Paul Baxter. The two accompanying pieces are far more than mere make-weights as both fit well with the title piece thematically and chronologically and the total playing time of almost 80 minutes is generous. The Wolfgang Helbich version on Naxos remains better value but if you are not on a tight budget we would recommend this new recording on Delphian.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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